Category Archive: Online advertising

The Belgian decision about Facebook cookies has huge data protection and press freedom implications

By Simon Davies Like many other people, I’ve been grappling with the intricacies of the recent Belgian court decision about Facebook’s use of cookies (the English text of which is, at last, here.) I’m coming around to the view that the implications are far broader than we might imagine and it’s a little bewildering that there …

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US court rejects Google’s attempt to seal transcript and documents

By Simon Davies A US federal judge has rejected an attempt by Google to edit the transcript of a critical hearing in a lawsuit alleging wiretap violations related to Gmail ads. The released transcript is available here (downloads as pdf) On Wednesday District Court Judge Lucy Koh also partially granted a plea by intervening news …

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Google’s “commitment” to student privacy unearths some worrying questions

By Simon Davies Quite a few media outlets have excitedly reported on Google’s announcement last week that ads and ad scanning will now be removed from the company’s education apps for schools. If these articles were to be believed, we should all be dancing in the streets with joy over some miraculous U-turn by the …

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Beware the NSA’s contrition tactic over transparency – it’s a trap

James Clapper: using transparency to neutralise privacy

By Simon Davies Two weeks ago the Director of US National Intelligence, James Clapper, gave an interview with Eli Lake of The Daily Beast, in which he broke some new ground by stating that the core problem in recent spying controversies is that the NSA should have been more open about its activities. Against a …

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Consumers angered as Google further undermines the privacy of half a billion Gmail accounts

By Simon Davies Google is under fire over its decision to further weaken the privacy of Gmail users as part of the company’s new integrated terms of service. This is the latest in a sequence of controversial moves intended to force-feed the population base of Google+ by “opting-in” the users of other Google services to …

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Analysis: Europe’s competition authority is heading for a fall over the Google antitrust inquiry

By Simon Davies  Earlier this week the EU’s competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, delivered a speech at the European Parliament that can best be described as astonishing. Indeed, Almunia’s presentation – on the subject of his ongoing anti-trust investigation of Google – quickly went beyond astonishing and headed swiftly toward being outrightly bizarre. The commissioner was …

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Google’s “no expectation” claim is the last defence of the indefensible

By Simon Davies Earlier this week Google formally declared that people using its email services should have “no legitimate expectation of privacy”. Predictably, the admission has sparked a sharp and hostile reaction from media commentators and rights groups. Google filed the statement in response to a US class action lawsuit alleging that the interception and …

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Three healthy indications that online privacy may have turned a corner

By Simon Davies Last week Twitter issued an announcement that deserved much more acclamation than it received. Indeed, what Twitter has just done is nothing short of heroic. The company, which makes around $600 million dollars a year in ad revenue, has decided to go up against every major advertising organisation in the world by …

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Analysis: Four important consequences of the French ruling against Google

By Simon Davies Earlier today the French national privacy authority CNIL issued a ruling that put Google on notice that it is in breach of national data protection law. The authority has given the advertising giant three months to bring itself into legal compliance. CNIL’s position is that Google’s new privacy policy – permitting the …

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We must soon confront the biggest dilemma over EU data protection reform

By Simon Davies Back in October I gave an address to the joint meeting of the European and national parliaments on the prospects for data protection reform. I made the observation that the public was largely disengaged from the reform process and that the agenda was being carved out amongst key industry and government entities …

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